The Art of saying ‘No’

I believe that most people have a default “Yes” switch (although we all know someone who’s default is “No”). We are by nature people please'rs.

We like to help out or make someone happy. I’m a mum, I like to see my children with smiles on their faces, however for their sake and my sanity “No” at times is the correct answer. When you are working with and for others, saying “No” can feel like breaking an unspoken rule.

Below are a few tips to help you …

  • Ask questions – Get the full picture of what you are being asked to do.
  • Don’t answer right away – It’s easy to feel pressured to respond (some cries for help require immediate action), but if you can, take some time to assess the situation and formulate your response.
  • Respect your time and talent – Remember you need time to deliver to a high quality, have a proper plan for your delivery (Hint: not sleeping to deliver on time isn’t the answer).
  • Offer an alternative –  It may be a different time or person, it could also be directing them to a website or organisation where information can be accessed.
  • Own it your decision – Be polite in your response, but don’t get into a circular conversation about why you can’t help. A simple “sorry, I can’t help right now, but if you can wait until next week, I can spend some time with you and help then”.

Your “No” can also be a more finite one, “No, I don’t want that job” or “I don’t think we’d work well together” or “No I don’t agree”, but follow the tips above and be clear and your “No” will be respected.

Do you or your team need to work on your management skills? Doors open on our Management Fundamentals Self Study course on November 1st. Find out more about the course and join the waiting list here before it closes tomorrow and get access to an exclusive offer.